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Finance Breaks Until 7:30; Baucus Promises Busy Night

With nearly a full day’s worth of debate on the public option behind it, the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday afternoon returned to the task of methodically working through several hundred less controversial amendments filed against the panel’s health care reform bill.Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) adjourned the markup session from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to allow for floor votes and a dinner break. But he promised a late night of amendment consideration when the committee reconvenes.Although much work remains to be done, the completion of debate on two amendments to add a public insurance option to Baucus’ $900 billion health care reform package has eliminated some drama from the proceedings — at least for now.The two amendments, one offered by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and the other proposed by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), were defeated earlier Tuesday under the weight of both Democratic and Republican opposition.

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